An Open Letter to Kevin Kietzman
Dear Mr. Kietzman:
I feel that I should publicly apologize to you for this, but I’m done. I hereby resign my listener-ship of Between The Lines.
This is not a decision I take lightly. Let me tell you that I have listened to Union Broadcasting religiously daily. Specifically, your program — since it was on 1510. I remember altering my start time at a job so that I could be driving to work when the sun came up one autumn so I couldn’t drive to work without the sound of your station.
I remember the venom with which you went after Don Fortune at 980. Those were the days, right? You openly mocked him for his Tippins pies commercials and how stale his radio program had gotten. You were a maverick and I felt I was part of something special.
I was at the Walk-Out. One of the greatest Radio promotions ever, in my humble opinion. I feel that it was a turning point in the history of the Royals. I was one of the first ones in the parking lot and I remember throwing money at the Yankees as they were walking into Royals Stadium.
I listened to you as you transitioned to 810 WHB. I also enjoyed listening to your other programs, but I ALWAYS tuned in at 2:00 to hear the real sports news of the day. The entire day hinged on 2:00 for me. I admit, I sound like a bit of a sports radio junkie here. But I guess I am. All of the above are truths.
You seemed to only strengthen over the first several years at 810. Petro came over and provided a more statistical analysis of sports, and you brought the heat, the passion. Sometimes I disagreed with you, sometimes I passionately agreed. But I always listened.
You were part of my family.
The past few years, however, my listening began to evolve. I began to notice that commercial breaks were just a little bit longer. That you didn’t start your 2:00 program until 2:06. Add to that 5 minutes of commercials at the end of Petro’s show, and that starts to be noticed.
When you do start your program at 2:06, you are usually on a remote. This is inevitably a result of the economy and it’s good that you have so much interest in local businesses wanting to host your show. I have been to many of your station’s remotes and do try to use 810 sponsors where possible. However, when you start your program, you spend at least 10 minutes pimping the remote location ad libbing about the location, what can be found there. It feels very stock and unentertaining. By the time you do get to the first story of the day, the story that you will provide your much admired opinion and analysis of, it’s nearly 2:20, if that early. By that time, I’ve usually tuned out or moved to something else.
That’s your 2:00 hour.
The 3:00 and 4:00 hours are typically filled with content that I have no interest in. NASCAR, Soccer, NBA.
Finally, the long-winded discussions with Jim Colbert as a paid product endorsement of the cookie diet and the weekly one-hour Grilling segment are simply wastes of time. There has to be a more entertaining way to pimp your sponsors without making it like the Tippins Pies live reads that you once made fun of. I don’t fault you for trying to make a buck, but it seems, to me, that the heavy majority of your program has become trying to make a buck with very little interest in delivering news and analysis.
You, sir, have become Don Fortune. You have become the thing that you once reviled.
Today was the straw that broke the camel’s back, however, when I listened to you at 2:00 talk for 35 minutes about the hygiene “the odor” of the studio headsets in use at your remote. I regrettably came to the realization that I have better things to do with my time.
I write this to you today, sir, not with hatred, or ill will. As I mentioned before, 810 is family. I have spent countless hours listening to your radio station. I will continue to listen to The Border Patrol and The Program as my schedule allows.
I did feel compelled, however, to share with you my concerns.
I may move down the dial and listen to Nick Wright. I have tried listening to his program in the past, but I have very little interest in the NBA and he’s pretty NBA heavy right now. I will say that his edge is refreshing. I don’t know if he’ll be around for long, so I’m not getting to used to his program.
I wish you the best of luck in the future. I do hope that you’ll temper the vamping that goes on in your program and cut back on the grilling/cookie diet/Len Zimmer & The Jazz Band/Golf/Chuckles with Jack Harry/Chuckles with Frank Boal/Whats Up Leabo/Picks Segment wastes of time so that you can get back to the issues that made you great. In my eyes at least.
Fake Ned Yost
Chris Kamler, Listener since the beginning